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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 741985, 10 pages
Research Article

JNK1/2 Activation by an Extract from the Roots of Morus alba L. Reduces the Viability of Multidrug-Resistant MCF-7/Dox Cells by Inhibiting YB-1-Dependent MDR1 Expression

Laboratory of Clinical Biology and Pharmacogenomics, Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi, Dongdaemun, Seoul 130-701, Republic of Korea

Received 5 April 2013; Revised 28 June 2013; Accepted 30 June 2013

Academic Editor: Bo-Hyoung Jang

Copyright © 2013 Youn Kyung Choi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cancer cells acquire anticancer drug resistance during chemotherapy, which aggravates cancer disease. MDR1 encoded from multidrug resistance gene 1 mainly causes multidrug resistance phenotypes of different cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrate that JNK1/2 activation by an extract from the root of Morus alba L. (White mulberry) reduces doxorubicin-resistant MCF-7/Dox cell viability by inhibiting YB-1 regulation of MDR1 gene expression. When MCF-7 or MCF-7/Dox cells, where MDR1 is highly expressed were treated with an extract from roots or leaves of Morus alba L., respectively, the root extract from the mulberry (REM) but not the leaf extract (LEM) reduced cell viabilities of both MCF-7 and MCF-7/Dox cells, which was enhanced by cotreatment with doxorubicin. REM but not LEM further inhibited YB-1 nuclear translocation and its regulation of MDR1 gene expression. Moreover, REM promoted phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2) and JNK1/2 inhibitor, SP600125 and rescued REM inhibition of both MDR1 expression and viabilities in MCF-7/Dox cells. Consistently, overexpression of JNK1, c-Jun, or c-Fos inhibited YB-1-dependent MDR1 expression and reduced viabilities in MCF-7/Dox cells. In conclusion, our data indicate that REM-activated JNK-cJun/c-Fos pathway decreases the viability of MCF-7/Dox cells by inhibiting YB-1-dependent MDR1 gene expression. Thus, we suggest that REM may be useful for treating multidrug-resistant cancer cells.